With 9.5 seconds left and the Capitals up by a goal, the puck was dropped in Washington's zone. But for more than five seconds, the clock refused to start. The Bruins cycled it around, with Patrice Bergeron getting off a shot just at the buzzer. It was thankfully blocked, because a score there would have meant riots at either end of the Northeast Corridor.
The NHL is no stranger to clock malfunctions, but this one had a readily available explanation. The timekeeper was trying to put a fraction of a second back on the clock, but couldn't get the attention of the referee before the puck was dropped. The league's statement:
"With 9.5 seconds remaining in the third period, there was a stoppage and resulting faceoff in the Washington zone. During the stoppage, the game clock operator and Series Manager determined that 0.9 seconds should have been added to the time remaining in the third period and attempted to contact the on-ice officials to delay the puck drop to accommodate making the necessary clock adjustment to 10.4 seconds remaining.
"The off-ice officials were not able to attract the attention of the referees or linesmen despite sounding the horn, which was not audible due to crowd noise, and the puck was dropped. The NHL Situation Room in Toronto immediately was aware that the clock had not started for 5.3 seconds after the faceoff and, therefore, would have disallowed a goal scored with 5.3 seconds or less showing on the clock."
Believable. Innocuous. And yet I can't help but notice that I'm writing about this, instead of anything about suspensions. Well played, NHL.